For social animals, successfully communicating with each other is essential for interactions and survival. My research aims to answer a central question on the neuronal basis of this ability: how do our brains enable us to communicate with each other? To study the behavioural and neuronal substrates underlying the perception of vocal patterns, my current work in mice utilizes male-female courtship interactions. In my talk I will present recent work that uses natural behaviour to evaluate the acoustic dimensions used by female listeners from male song sequences, and demonstrates the importance of temporal patterns in vocal communication. I will then talk about new work investigating the neuronal substrates supporting the perception of behaviourally relevant vocal cues. 


Catherine is a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow at UCL’s Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience. She received a BSc and MSc in biomedical engineering from EPFL, Switzerland. She then moved to Tuebingen, Germany, to work with Chris Petkov and Nikos Logothetis at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. Her doctoral research focused on the neuronal substrates of voice processing in the primate brain. Upon completing her PhD, Catherine moved to London, and from primates to mice, in order to try and study the perceptual and neuronal substrates of vocal communication in smaller furry animals. Catherine’s postdoctoral work is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, and benefits from the support of Daniel Bendor’s laboratory at UCL’s Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience.

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